NASA’s social media universe: Check-ins from space, tweet-ups on Earth

In Ragan conference keynote, an astronaut and the agency’s social media manager detail its multi-faceted, round-the-clock approach.

Col. Doug Wheelock has what’s most likely the rarest Foursquare badge in existence. In October, he checked in from the International Space Station and earned the NASA Explorer Badge. He’s going to have to check in again, though, to get another Foursquare accolade, he recently discovered.

“All this time I’ve been telling people I was the mayor of space,” Wheelock, the keynote, told some 400 participants at Ragan Communications’ Social Media for PR and Corporate Communications conference at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas on Tuesday.

NASA isn’t all that interested in exclusivity. About 5,000 people have earned the Earth-bound version of the explorer badge, said Stephanie Schierholz, NASA’s social media manager, and hundreds of the agency’s fans have come in person to tweetups at NASA facilities around the United States.

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